June 25, 2012 at 10:01 AM ET
Taking on the role of the justice-loving, teenage superhero in "The Amazing Spider-Man" was a dream come true for Andrew Garfield. Since childhood, the actor's been a fan of the web-slinger at the center of the story, and as it turned out, that early obsession played a part in landing him the lead spot in the film.
Long before Garfield donned the iconic blue and red suit for the big screen production, he wore a much smaller version of it as a 3-year-old, and somehow a photo of him in that getup made its way into the hands of producers before he got the part.
"I would never be that manipulative," Garfield said of the photo ploy during a Monday morning interview on TODAY. "(But) my father would. He really wanted me to get this role, and he knows I was a cute 3-year-old. And who can say no to a 3-year-old in a Spider-Man costume? These guys were manipulated."
Garfield couldn't be happier with the result of dad's arm-twisting (and his own hard work). After all, he sees Spidey as the perfect role model for a generation that could definitely use one.
"Between the ages of 6 and 12, I experienced bullying and witnessed it ... and it's wonderful having a teenage example of a hero," he explained. "That's what's defining about Spider-Man -- it's that he's a kid. ... So I think he means so much to so many because of that, because he is a symbol of doing the right thing and protecting each other and living in a community, as opposed to individuals."
Garfield wasn’t the only "Amazing Spider-Man" star to wax about the web-filled film. Co-stars Emma Stone, Denis Leary and Rhys Ifans, along with producer Matt Tolmach and director Marc Webb, also stopped by TODAY to share their thoughts. Hear what they had to say about their "Amazing" experiences in the video below.
"The Amazing Spider-Man" opens in theaters nationwide July 3.
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